Sustainable short-term rentals: Why property managers should check their carbon footprint

Property management company Nestor share how deep diving into their environmental footprint has added significant value to their business. They are aiming to build a model for sustainable short-term rentals and are here to show other property managers why they should be following suit! 

Nestor are UK based, and specialise in central London apartments and small hotels. Passionate about guest experience, they’re all about offering their customers the option to make conscious choices when travelling. So how, and why?

The challenge & opportunity facing sustainable short-term rentals

The travel industry as a whole faces a broad set of challenges when it comes to sustainability, but it accounts for 8% of worldwide emissions. And this is set to climb by 4% per year.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about their footprint. In fact, this great survey found that 81% of people expect companies to be environmentally conscious, and those doing everything possible to minimise their carbon footprint increased from 63% to 69% over the past year. The short-term rental industry should be taking advantage of this shifting mentality to become a model for sustainability in the travel accommodation sector.

Because short-term rentals differ from hotels, where large scale operations are going on 24/7, the industry may actually be better positioned to conserve energy and water and make a positive impact on their local community.

That being said, as they are non-centralised, it can be operationally difficult to create truly sustainable short-term rentals. Property managers must therefore look for realistic and efficient ways to reduce their impacts, taking advantage of technology to create a more sustainable future. 

We deep dived into our business to identify the areas in which we could be greener and put in place tangible measures to create positive change. Why should you do the same?

Using sustainability practices add value to your business

Sadly, property managers sometimes cite the increased costs involved in environmental practices as an obstacle to becoming truly sustainable. 

It can be hard to convince stakeholders to invest in sustainability, but after spending time and money on creating more sustainable short-term rentals, the proof is in the pudding – our properties are performing better than ever, even against the backdrop of a global pandemic

Nestor has looked at KPIs from their eco-friendly serviced apartment building, The Carlyle, vs Transparent’s Smart Rental PRO average short-term rental data from properties in the same postcode. This comparison demonstrates the value sustainability can bring to short-term rental businesses. We have based our comparisons on on the books metrics for the next 30 days. 

So far, booked ADRs at the Carlyle are shown to be 69% higher than the average for comparable rentals. Current average occupancy is also 17.6% higher than the average for properties in the local area. 

Nestor has established that guests are willing to pay a premium for a high-end product with sustainability at its core. 

With eco-friendly measures in place, Nestor has also seen a greater guest satisfaction, reflected in review scores. According to Transparent market data, The Carlyle is performing at the top 16.3% of Airbnb review scores in the same postcode. 

Performance is also impressive against Transparent’s Rental Calculator, which projects performance across property subtypes at a given address based on 2019 benchmark data – useful to track against as we climb out of recovery mode.

So that’s the why, but what about the how? Just how difficult is it to take the first steps down the green path?

Building a model for sustainable short term rentals

We’ve added some tips for good places to start when looking into your own property management business’s sustainable practices. 

  • Reassess your supply chain

Step one is analysing your supply chain, as that is where the most significant carbon emissions, water waste and plastic waste will be seen. 

Opting for suppliers that share your values will be essential in reducing your environmental footprint. For example, when choosing your linen suppliers ask questions like: Do their washing processes use excessive water or energy? How many deliveries are being made per week? Are they using electric vehicles for deliveries? Are they using environmentally friendly products?

Similarly, the products you provide should reflect your values and be chosen with sustainability credentials in mind. At Nestor, we use locally sourced, vegan products, offered to guests in refillable containers to cut down plastic and benefit the local community. 

Some ideas might be using recycled toilet paper, bulk buying soaps from eco-friendly suppliers and offering guests seasonal welcome treats produced in the local area to reduce air miles. 

  • Embrace technology to keep operations low touch 

Embracing a low touch, streamlined approach to operations has allowed Nestor to limit the number of on the ground staff and suppliers needed on site. By maximising the potential of technology to automate operations you can significantly pare back your day to day impacts. Using the power of digital also allows you to communicate all the great things you’re doing with your guests without waste!

  • Consider carbon offset initiatives

Consider introducing initiatives that will offset travel carbon emissions – there are loads of companies dedicated to carbon sequestering to help with this. Nestor have partnered with More Trees to plant a tree on behalf of every customer who books direct with them. Find out more about this initiative on our blog

Check out the Nestor blog for further details on how we’re championing sustainable travel alongside recovery.

You can also learn more about the different ways in which Transparent data can help you maximise revenue right here:

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